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Good idea... First step I think is to gather all possible standards for IR encoding. They will help to find out the number of the important independent parameters and their ranges. Perhaps you will add a user IR decoder protocol in case the user likes to build his own encoder. Nice project.
I think implementing all the standards is too difficult. There is one project called LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Controller). What they have done is that they have implement an algorithm which can learn the protocol and after that, it can detect each standard. The problem is, they have implemented this on PC using Microsoft Visual C++. So, if you want to do this project , it will be easy to decode their "IR learning algorithm". They also provide the source code of the program they have written for this.
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